Countdown to Fall Camp: Fullbacks

Des Williams

Georgia's 2005 season opens soon – the Bulldogs start their camp on August 5 – so here is a look at Georgia's situation at fullback.

2004 Starter: Jeremy Thomas (15 games started, 25 attempts, 77 yards, 2 touchdowns)

Junior Des Williams (2 games started, 16 attempts, 40 yards, 0 touchdowns) will take over the starting role at fullback in 2005, but don't be surprised if Brannan Southerland pushes him for the starting role this fall. Both are capable fullbacks, but Southerland has better ball skills – at least if spring practice is any indication.

The two will be key players on special teams this fall; their playing time at fullback, however, will be determined by their ability to protect quarterback D.J. Shockley and provide blocking for Georgia's trio of tailbacks – two of whom could line up at fullback in some situations.

Final Take: Williams will be the starter in 2005, but Southerland is a player that seems capable of being a difference maker. If Williams gets hurt the drop off from him to Southerland will be small (only in terms of experience). It doesn't seem likely that either of the pair will switch over to linebacker – a position both played at one time or another in Athens – even though depth at that spot is a bit shallow. The number of reps Southerland gets will remain uncertain for now but the passing game could dictate how many snaps he gets in the fall. Thomas was effective as a pass receiver out of the backfield. Williams and Southerland will need to match his pass-catching ability.

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